Source: WGBH, KQED, and Northwestern University
In this video from Northwestern University Office of STEM Education Partnerships, learn about a remote online laboratory technology called iLab Central. Take a tour of the Radioactivity iLab, which investigates how distance affects the intensity of radiation. See a simulation that allows students to explore how a Geiger counter works and learn about the concepts involved. Learn how the program guides students through planning an experiment, making lab journal entries, watching a live webcam view of their experiment running at a laboratory in Australia, and completing data collection and analysis.
Traditional laboratory projects in school science classes can be limited by a variety of factors, such as available class time, lack of equipment, or safety concerns. What if technology could help eliminate those barriers?
Virtual experiments and computer simulations can be useful for students to gain direct experience with many scientific concepts. But computers can also provide access to real equipment to conduct real experiments. iLab Central—a gateway site for online laboratories—allows students to access expensive and delicate scientific instruments from a remote location. Students can use this equipment, which normally would not be available in the classroom, to gather real data to analyze and interpret. With iLabs, students are able to participate in authentic scientific inquiry by designing and running their own experiments on scientific equipment that they control over the Internet.
Many scientists conduct remote investigations in the same way; for example, astronomers often use remote observation to collect data from telescopes that are located far from their offices. By giving students the opportunity to use the same instruments that professional scientists use, it can make the study of science more authentic for them.
Furthermore, because the online laboratories can be accessed at any time of day, students can run their experiments at any time that is convenient. Instead of spending class time on the investigations, they can conduct them from home, a library, or a computer lab on their own time, and then bring their results back to the classroom for discussion. Students can talk with each other about their findings and determine the strengths and weaknesses of their experimental designs, much like the peer review process of professional scientists. They can then return to the computer to run their experiment again with an improved design. When not restricted by class time, students can spend more time with the investigation and, as a result, gain a better understanding of scientific processes.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.